Your browser version is outdated. We recommend that you update your browser to the latest version.

Botanic Holidays in Bulgaria

Balkan Trek's unique bespoke botanic holidays in Bulgaria are offered to individuals, couples, small private groups and societies. All botanic holidays can be tailor-made to suite your own requirements, and are carefully designed to provide a comprehensive exploration of the most rewarding botanic habitats in Bulgaria, including many of  the officially designated Important Plant Areas in Bulgaria.

Because of its geographical location, varied climate and geology, Bulgaria has a very rich flora, with an incredible 4000 species of vascular plants including Central European, Mediterranean, Pontic, Pannonian, Steppe and Oriental elements. One of the great attractions of a botanic holiday in Bulgaria is that compared to other European countries, Bulgaria's flora boasts a relatively large percentage of endemics, with 174 Bulgarian endemic species and about 100 endemic subspecies. Particularly prevalent amongst these are the genera Centaurea, Cyanus, Dianthus, Thymus, Sedum, Verbascum and Viola. Our highly rewarding Bulgarian alpine flowers and endemic plants holiday focuses on the unique endemic flora of Bulgaria's  of spectacular mountains.

Another focus of botanic holidays in Bulgaria are the orchids. The rarity and beauty of orchids, combined with the fascinating complexity of orchid ecology, makes orchid hunting and photography one of the most exciting and rewarding types of botanic holidays in Bulgaria. Bulgaria offers refuge to a large and varied assortment of rare and beautiful orchids, making Bulgaria an ideal holiday destination for all botanists and orchid photographers. So far, approximately 70 species of orchid have been discovered in Bulgaria, with more than 60 species of orchids having been recorded in the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains alone. For for some of these orchids, such as the beautiful Lady's Slipper Orchid (Cypripedium calceolus), the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains mark the limit of their European distribution. It is for this reason that the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains are considered as being of exceptional importance for orchid conservation, and why we offer two orchid-focused botanic holidays there, with a spring orchid holiday in the Eastern Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains and an early summer orchid holiday in the  the Western Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains.

Another recommended option for a botanic holiday in Bulgaria is to focus on the wild flowers of Bulgaria's Black Sea & Strandzha Mountains. The coastal flora of Bulgaria is of great interest, harbouring a mix of species from very different floristic regions. Bulgaria's southern Black Sea coastline is characterized by many Mediterranean and Anatolian species, whilst further north one finds Dacian, Pannonian, Pontic, Crimean and Caucasian species.

Along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast there is an ever-changing variety of plant communities and associations. Here there are rocky cliffs and capes, a variety of wetlands such as lakes, lagoons and marshes, as well as lush river valleys with well-developed riparian vegetation, including some unique 'longos' (longoza) flood forests along the valleys of the Ropotamo and Kamchiya (Kamchia). Also of great interest but critically threatened by the massive over-development of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast, are the rare plant communities and associations found on the sandy beaches and shifting dunes, as well as on the last surviving remnants of stony steppes, grass-steppes and steppe-woodlands of the Dobrudzha, which can be seen in the region north of Cape Kaliakra towards the Romanian border.

Because of the potential threat facing many of Bulgaria's plants and wild flower habitats, conservationists have identified  125 Important Plant Areas. These Important Plant Areas in Bulgaria have been defined as natural or semi-natural sites exhibiting exceptional botanical richness and/or supporting an outstanding assemblage of rare, threatened and/or endemic plant species and/or vegetation of high botanical value.

These Important Plant Areas are distributed across Bulgaria. The majority are focused either in the mountains, or else along major river valleys and the Black Sea coast. Many of Bulgaria's important Plant Areas feature in the tailor-made botanic holidays we design, giving you the chance to explore and enjoy the wealth of orchids, endemic plants and alpine flowers that they preserve.

To find out more about the opportunities for tailor-made botanic holidays in Bulgaria, and to discuss your own specific plans and requirements, please email Balkan Trek. We will be happy to design and organize for you a unique and highly rewarding botanic holiday in Bulgaria.

Furthermore, all our botanic holidays in the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains are organized in co-operation with the local NGO 'Wild Rodopi', ensuring that you not only have the best opportunities to observe and photograph some of the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains rarest and most beautiful orchids and wild flowers, but will also be directly contributing to the work of the NGO 'Wild Rodopi' and help funding their efforts to research and conserve the flora of the Rodopi (Rhodope) Mountains.